The first time I used USATestprep it was a “have to,” not a “want to.” This was because my previous principal was already sold on it. We used it for benchmarking, common formative assessments, and whatever else we wanted to in our classrooms. It was a little overwhelming to jump in at first, but I grew to absolutely love it. The platform sells itself, and so when I moved school districts this year, one of the first things I said in my interview was…
“If you hire me, I have to have USATestprep!” Luckily they complied and I use it every single day.
I know some of you out there aren’t as lucky and need some tips on how to persuade the“powers that be” that USATestprep is a need, not just a want. So, I reached out to my former principal, Melanie Allen ED.S at Roosevelt Building, to ask what sold her on the platform from the beginning. She highlighted three areas that stood out for her.
State-Standards Aligned Assessments
Mrs. Allen pointed out that assessments are what drive our instruction and are the guiding light throughout the year. If they are not solid and in place, then higher level teaching and learning most likely will not take place.
“I began searching for an affordable platform that would mirror the state expectations in standard coverage, cross-curricular implementation, rigor, vocab, diagrams charts, etc.,” said Mrs. Allen. “USATestprep impressed me from the beginning!”
Another selling point: the reports were user-friendly and to the point. As Mrs. Allen points out, “Benchmarks, summatives, CFAs... everything could be consistent through USATestprep! I had confidence in the item bank and resources. They are truly quality assessments and resources, as well as affordable!”
As a busy principal, Mrs. Allen is interested in data, information, and reports that matter. I knew USATestprep did not give overwhelming information that confused and kept teachers jumping through hoops. Instead, it gave us the biggest bang for our buck and was just practical.
Outstanding Customer Service
Mrs. Allen noted that USATestprep customer service has always been remarkable and, “They listen to the customers and make updates as needed”
Mrs. Allen’s final comment is the perfect summary: “If people use the platform as a whole, their classroom and instructional needs will be met. It just makes sense! I believe in it! I’m sold on the program!”
I learned so much from Mrs. Allen during my time with her. I am so grateful that she had the courage to change our assessments even if it was uncomfortable. It not only helped our students become better learners, but it helped me become a better teacher!
I have this quote up in my classroom: “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.” In a sea filled with so many curriculum choices and test ready opinions, I can definitely say that USATestprep has made me a more skillful sailor.
When working to convince your administration on the need for USATestprep in the classroom, focus on the following points:
- All USATestprep assessments are aligned to state standards
- The rigor of the assessments helps drive higher-level teaching and learning
- Data, information, and reports that matter
- Huge item-bank with standards-aligned content
- User-friendly and affordable
- Outstanding customer service
Thank you to our guest writer and teacher, Jessica McLain from Senath-Hornersville High School, MO.
About the author: Jessica grew up outside of St. Louis, MO where she taught 5th grade for 11 years. She recently moved from small city life to cotton country with her husband and 7-year-old son. She started her 12th year teaching 5th and 6th grade math at a small school in the Missouri Bootheel. When she's not teaching during the day, you may find her blogging in the evening (check out her blog HERE), or leading worship at church! She has a love/hate relationship with chocolate and golf..and loves to find a good deal on some cute clothes! In her classroom, you will hear lots of songs, see tons of organization, and find students working away on their USATestprep!